Thanks to an advertiser on EOTP, I was able to see Game Three against the Boston Bruins this year for free, with seats right on the Habs' offensive blueline for two periods. The game itself was fantastic, but the moment that really drove it home was a bad call on P.K. Subban for a clean hit. After killing the penalty, Lars Eller broke out of the defensive zone and found Subban with a pass coming out of the box, who made Tuukka Rask look like a fool with a beautiful breakaway goal. The Bell Centre exploded, the game went to commercial break, and the crowd brought the house down the entire break. It was unbelievable.
Habs/Rangers 0-5 comeback.
I was working at the Bell Centre hawking credit cards. Was a good gig, they let us sneak in and watch the games for free. I have never seen a more passionate crowd ever. On both sides, too. They were equally as angry as they were happy. The ushers, security, vendors, support staff... They were all cramming the aisles trying to see what was going on. Just an epic fan experience. And I got paid to watch it.
My first hockey game ever happened by accident, and it turned out to be the game that Saku Koivu returned to play after being treated for cancer. You could feel the building vibrating. It was the kind of emotional crowd that makes you start crying just because you're part of it. I don't even know if watching the Habs clinch the cup live will compare to that moment.
My first NHL game that I can remember. 1997 Habs vs. Oilers at the Molson Centre. Game ended in a tie, which infuriated me, but I remember being insanely happy about being on the jumbo tron, and even more so when Saku Koivu scored. Those were pretty much the only two things I could have asked for, and I got them.
Definitely not the best moment I saw live, but certainly one that has stuck with me for the longest.
It was my first Cape Breton Oilers (the then-farm team of the Edmonton Oilers) game, and possibly their first or second ever game in Sydney, NS. I'm pretty sure it was the first time I had ever watched pro hockey live. It was as close as I had ever come to seeing NHLers up close. In the second period, two players, Peter McGeough, a defenseman for the Springfield Indians, and Nicholas Beaulieu, a left winger for the Oilers, got tangled up in what seemed like a pretty routine battle along the boards play. McGeough, who was playing his second ever pro game, fell to the ice face first and had to be carried off on a stretcher. I had never seen anything like that before. He ended up in the old city hospital with a spinal injury and was there for months immoblized.
I just always wondered about that 23 year old kid who had his career cut short before it ever began. I later learned that eventually he was able to walk, but a return to hockey was forever ruled out.
For me it was my second ever Habs game, and I was in the front row as they played the Sabres. After Tyler Ennis undressed Andrei Markov to give them the lead at 2-1, Desharnais tied it to send it into overtime with 3.1 seconds left, after Ryan Miller had robbed Pacioretty seconds earlier. I went crazy along the glass celebrating that goal.
The Hamilton Bulldogs winning the Calder Cup with Carey Price as the MVP.
That or Habs/Sabres in 2008. 2 goals in final 2 minutes, then Higgins wins it in OT.
Habs Sabres in Buffalo last year, when the Has clinched their playoff spot.
The crowd was strongly pro-Montreal, and the Habs killed. 41-14 shots, 4-0 final score, and Subban broke Myers' leg with a shot, and then scored on the same sequence.
The only thing audible in downtown Buffalo post-game was the ole chant. Phenomenal.
I had seats in the Molson Ex zone for a game against the Boston Bruins two years ago. Brad Marchand carried the puck from the Bruins end all the way up left side of the ice only to run into the brick wall that was a thunderous P.K. Subban hit. And I mean thunderous. We could hear the sound of the impact cut through the Bell Centre's rabid applause all the way up to the nosebleeds section. It was marvelous and I will never forget it.
What made the game even better was an unexpected Michael Cammalleri fight later on in the match. Credit to him as he held his own against David Krejci. What a game. Funny thing is that I can't even tell you the final score, other than that the Habs won on all fronts.